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Columbia Sportswear Co.
Type Public
Founded 1938
Headquarters Washington County, Oregon (near Beaverton),
United States
45°31′46″N 122°49′31″W / 45.52938°N 122.82535°W / 45.52938; -122.82535Coordinates: 45°31′46″N 122°49′31″W / 45.52938°N 122.82535°W / 45.52938; -122.82535
Key people Tim Boyle, CEO
Gert Boyle, Chairperson
Industry Apparel
Products Outerwear and sportswear
Revenue US$1.29 billion (2007)
Employees 2,712 (2005)

Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQCOLM) is a United States company that manufactures and distributes outerwear and sportswear. It was founded in 1938 by the late Paul Lamfrom, father of present chairperson Gert Boyle. The company is headquartered in Washington County, Oregon, in an unincorporated part of the Portland metropolitan area near Beaverton. Columbia Sportswear also produces footwear, headgear, camping equipment, skiwear, and outerwear accessories. In 2001, it was the largest American seller of ski apparel.[1]



Columbia Sportswear began as a small, family-owned hat distributor. Present chairwoman Gert Boyle's parents, Paul and Marie Lamfrom, fled Germany in 1937 and immediately bought a Portland hat distributorship. They became the Columbia Hat Company, named for the nearby Columbia River. In 1948, Gert married Neal Boyle, who became the head of the company. Frustrations over suppliers influenced the family to start manufacturing their own products. Columbia Hat Company became Columbia Sportswear Company in 1960.[2]

In 1970, Neal Boyle died following a heart attack. Gert and son Tim Boyle, then a University of Oregon senior, took over the operations of Columbia, rescuing it from near bankruptcy.

Columbia's jackets featured waterproof fabric that was also breathable. Additionally, new jackets featured interchangeable shells and liners. Multiple wearing options and fabric technology fueled rapid sales growth.

Company headquarters in Washington County, Oregon

Columbia became a publicly traded company in 1998.[3] It acquired footwear maker Sorel Corporation in 2000 and Mountain Hardwear in 2003. In 2006, Columbia acquired the Pacific Trail[4] and Montrail brands.[5]

In 2001, the company moved its headquarters from Portland to a site in an unincorporated part of Washington County,[6] in the Cedar Mill area and just outside the Beaverton city limits. The site on NW Science Park Drive has a Portland mailing address, but is not in Portland. In 2007, City of Portland officials attempted to convince Columbia Sportswear to move back to Portland,[7] but the company ultimately rejected the idea and said it would expand its existing headquarters instead.[6]

On June 15, 2008, Columbia Sportswear announced a three-year sponsorship of the cycling team formerly known as Team High Road and before that T-Mobile and Team Telekom. The sponsorship began on July 5, 2008 with the start of the Tour de France. The team's new name is "Team Columbia". The sponsorship includes both the men's and women's teams.[8]


Flagship store in downtown Portland
Retail shop in Hong Kong

Columbia Sportswear distributes its products in more than 72 countries and 13,000 retailers. Columbia also operates its own chain of retail stores, including its flagship store located in Portland, Oregon.

Financial information

As of July 20, 2009 its market capitalization is about $1.18 billion, with 2008 net sales of $1.37 billion.


Stock exchanges

Columbia Sportswear Company is publicly traded on NASDAQ with ticker symbol COLM.


  1. ^ Senior, Jeanie (November 9, 2001). "Seamless warehouse is a marvel". Portland Tribune. Retrieved 2009-11-28.  
  2. ^ "Columbia Milestones". Columbia Sportswear.,default,pg.html. Retrieved 2009-11-28.  
  3. ^ Binole, Gina (April 3, 1998). "Columbia goes public in top-of-the-line style". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-11-28.  
  4. ^ "Columbia Sportswear now owns Pacific Trail". Portland Business Journal. March 30, 2006. Retrieved 2009-11-28.  
  5. ^ "Columbia Sportswear buys Montrail". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. January 27, 2006. Retrieved 2009-11-28.  
  6. ^ a b Dworkin, Andy (August 30, 2007). "Columbia Sportswear staying put". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-11-28.  
  7. ^ "Columbia's 'tough mother' squashes return rumor". Portland Business Journal. March 3, 2007. Retrieved 2009-11-28.  
  8. ^ Team Columbia & High Road Sports, Inc (June 15, 2008). "Columbia Sportswear Announces Sponsorship". Press release. Retrieved 2008-06-17.  


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